26 Aug Duplicity Done Well & Not So Well
I wish I could be two people.
Mainly because I could hopefully read twice as many books. Other than that, no way-I don’t want twice as much laundry or dirty dishes, unless Me #2 gets a maid.
Ok-so what are your thoughts when an author publishes under a different name, ie. a pseudonym? Is it annoying, strange/fascinating, you love it, or who cares? I think it’s all of the above, or can be all of the above depending on the author in question.
J. K. Rowling is an author that does this little hat trick quite well in my opinion. I think it’s interesting she chose a male name for her other persona. Her Harry Potter books bear no resemblance to the Cormoran Strike books, yet both have a wonderful design. Looking at them I don’t feel one looks of lesser quality.
The only area that falls short for her (to me) was that random-feeling book that came out in between the two series several years back. Casual Vacancy was the title and Rowling was the author (not Galbraith). I think, using her name, but trying to write something non-Harry Potter-ish simply wasn’t going to work. I mean, let’s not push the buck. Harry got his own theme park after all. The world was taken by storm with the magic of HP. Rowling could’ve hid in a hole till kingdom come, which I probably would’ve done, but instead she wanted to keep writing, and thank goodness for that. And-Thank goodness she kept going after Casual Vacancy, which was kind of a casual casualty (in comparison to the HP series) in the whole scheme of things.
It definitely goes to show that just because someone writes something amazing, that not everything will be amazing. We all have off-days.
Or off-years, I suppose.
In comes Robert Galbraith. I will now refer to Rowling/Galbraith as a he, just to clarify. I think choosing a male was a wise choice mostly because of the gritty nature of the books and the characters they represent. Not that men are always grittier, but it was a completely opposite choice of genders, for a completely opposite, if you will, book. Not that just because it’s not Harry Potter makes it the opposite of HP, but do you get what I mean? Actually I’m sort of getting confused now, but just go with it.
I feel the Rowling/Galbraith pseudonym was a success. To me it feels like a natural separation.
On the other hand 🖐 ,
There are a few other authors that come to mind that I feel didn’t pull this off quite as well. I’m not talking numbers and books sold, but more that it got on my nerves a little.
The ones that come to mind:
1. Nora Roberts
Roberts writes as J. D. Robb for her Death series. She also writes as Jill March and Sarah Hardesty. Four people? That’s just a bunch, too many for me to keep track of. Also I’m not a big romance reader, so that could be another reason for my dislike in this case.
2. Stephen King
He wrote under the pseudonym Richard Bachman in the late 70s and 80s. King is a longtime favorite of mine, so this doesn’t get on my nerves like the above-mentioned author. I don’t know the story behind the Bachman use, and those books versus the King books all seem to be of the same genre more or less, so it confuses me a little. I’m sure there’s a good reason, after all this is Stephen King we’re talking about 😉
3. Anne Rice
She is a fan-freaking-tastic writer. She writes as Anne Rampling and also A. N. Roquelaure. I’ve not read anything under the Rampling name, but hold the phone on Roquelaure. Holy Sh%#, A. N. Roquelaure! The Sleeping Beauty books by her definitely did not have Beauty doing much sleeping, uh, or wearing clothes.
Back Story: I had always heard that Rice wrote under Roquelaure for her erotica SB books. I’ll be honest and say they peaked my interest under the guise of how racy could they be? I’m not an erotica fan, not against it, but I just am not drawn to it. I was drawn to these because it was Anne Rice. Rice does give you a large preface about why she wrote under Roquelaure. She knew her fan base consisted of those interested in witches, vampires, etc., and she wanted it to be clear to her readers that this was a different genre. And you can say that again. She was not kidding, when in the preface she said there was something racy on every page-that’s a statement you can take to. the. bank.
In addition I just didn’t find the storyline that went along with the Sleeping Beauty books to be anything worth reading. I wasn’t offended at all- I just thought it was really, really dumb. In fact I couldn’t even get through the first book. The only other book, that could be considered erotica that I’ve read are the Fifty Shades books. Fifty Shades are not high quality literature (which I knew going in), but hands down they are better than the Sleeping Beauty books, which completely surprised me. Fifty Shades had a story and characters that weren’t asinine, I cannot say the same for Sleeping Beauty.
It’s safe to say that I prefer Anne Rice over A. N. Roquelaure.
Oh man, sorry for the rant if you took it as one.
On a lighter and more wholesome note I will close with an outtake picture. My cat who has been featured a bit on this blog is named Brontë. I have been taking pictures of her with books since she was a kitten (she is almost four years old), so she is used to me putting crazy things on her. That being said, I’m not above bribing her with treats. The picture below is of her licking her chops after eating a snack.
Happy Monday, Bookworms.
“Read. As much as you can. As deeply and widely and nourishingly and irritatingly as you can. “
– A.L. Kennedy